Tuesday, May 25, 2010

SPORTS>>Badgers hoist historic trophy at Baum

Leader sportswriter

FAYETTEVILLE – Give the last laugh to Beebe.

The Badgers beat the Monticello Billies 6-2 behind a strong outing from Griffin Glaude to win the 5A state baseball championship at Baum Stadium on Friday.

It was the first victory over Monticello in three tries for Beebe, which lost two regular-season, 5A-Southeast Conference games to the Billies and had to settle for a state tournament No. 2 seed.

Glaude, Beebe’s junior ace, pitched the game of his career with 11 strikeouts, two walks and four hits allowed. He held Monticello hitless a hit from the second through the fifth innings.

“I don’t know if it was the patience, or if the jitters just wore off,” Badgers coach Mark Crafton said. “We got some timely at-bats and timely hits with runners on, and we started getting patient at the plate. We started hitting the ball and got runs on the board. Griffin Glaude went out there and finished it with his performance on the mound.”

Glaude contributed an RBI double to his cause as Beebe (25-7) won its first major-sport state title since a boys basketball championship in 1941. The large crowd of Beebe fans celebrated through the postgame ceremonies while spectators for the next game began to pour in.

“It’s amazing, the fan support we had at this game,” Crafton said. “And we’ve had great support my five years up here. The dedication to what these kids have put in, the work ethic they’ve instilled, the support that the administration and community has given us —it’s not just a team win; it’s a community win.”

Glaude struck out seven in the first three innings, including three in the bottom of the third. He struck out Monticello’s No. 8 and No. 9 hitters before leadoff manMatthews and Hunter Lawson reached on walks, but Glaude, the game’s MVP, struck out Caleb Bryant to leave both runners stranded.

“That was the biggest thing we talked about before the game was that we were not going to let them beat us three times in a year,” Glaude said. “We weren’t going to let them win a football championship and a baseball championship; we had to take one of them away from them.”

Billies starting pitcher T.J. Sanders kept the Badgers off the bases until he walked senior third baseman Logan Ballew to open the third. There were two out in the Badgers fourth when Sanders hit Beebe cleanup batter Adam Naramore and Dylan Byrd drove Naramore in with a single to left-center field.

Beebe loaded the bases when Sanders hit Tanner Ball and Ballew walked. But Sanders, visibly tired, got Lawson Bryant to pop out to right to get out of the jam.

Scott doubled to right in the fifth and scored on Ryan Williams’ single to make it 2-0.

Beebe broke it open in the sixth with three runs off two hits and two walks.

With one out, Sanders hit Ballew, who had already walked twice, and Lawson Bryant singled to advance Ballew to third. Ballew scored on Jared Ashbrenner’s sacrifice fly to center with Bryant, who took second on a wild pitch, moving to third.

Sanders continued to fade as he walked Scott and was relieved by third baseman Sam Cason. That brought Glaude to the plate and the pitcher helped himself with a double to left-center that scored Bryant and Scott to make it 5-0.

Glaude lost his shutout in the bottom of the sixth when Matthews belted a home run over the left-field wall. Byrd, 2 for 4 with two RBI, gave Beebe its final run when he homered over the left-field fence in the top of the seventh.

The Billies (26-7) scored again in the bottom of the seventh when Jordan Tilley doubled and Kameron Smith drove him in with a single, but Smith hit into a force play and Glaude struck out the last two hitters to lock it up.